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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 22, 2016 8:56am-10:01am EDT

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with 5g, however, we are talking about lots of spectrum that are at least 200 megahertz in widthw this will allow the networks to carry much more traffic per user. gigabits of throughput, in place of megabits of throughput. and the key point here is that by opening up these higher frequency bands, we are making available more licensed spectrui for mobile than in theectrum cumulative history, dating back to reed hundt, that the fcc has heretofore made available. >> at this point there were some audio issues with the microphones at the national press club so we lost a moment or two of tom wheeler's comments. >> advantageous for the satellite and mobile industries
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to come together to propose realistic ideas for the coexistence in the upper bands and to do so quickly. satellite and terrestrial stakeholders have suggested a range of sharing options, and the draft spectrum front to order seeks to provide a balanced solution that addresses the needs of both parties. i am confident that we will adopt rules that will enable satellite, terrestrial and federal operations to coexist and thrive. to make sure we have this connectivity with high band spectrum will require a lot more small cells which means a lot more decisions by local governments. that's what is important to commission strengthened our environmental and historical preservation rules and kind for citing application reduce. america's local governments will play an important role in determining how we fulfill this national priority.or in addition all the small cells need to be connected so we wanted a lot more back.
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that's just we don't address the are perceiving a business data services, the kind of dedicated access the wireless providers need to connect cell towers and antennas to their networks.. these backhaul networks, ma connections could be as much as 30% of cost of operating a wireless network. in which additional sites required to support the use of millimeter wave spectrum that percentage is likely to increase to as much as 50%. a but in many areas competition in the supply of back off remains limited and that content into higher prices for wireless networks and higher prices for consumers. lack of competition doesn't just hurt the deployment of wireless networks today, it threatens as well the delay of the buildout of 5g networks with the demand
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for many, many more connectionst to many, many more antenna. before the end of this year, the commission will take up a reforw proposal supported by all the nation's leading wireless carriers, save one, that will encourage innovation and investment in business data services while ensuring that lack of competition in some places cannot be used to hold 5g hostage. as we build the next-generation network a lesson learned from our previous experiences is that it must be secure. so this is the third leg of the stool. new platforms, systems, software and technologies will mean new vulnerabilities. cybersecurity issues must be addressed during the design phase of the entire 5g
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ecosystem, including devices. this will place a premium on collaboration amongst all stakeholders. we continue to prefer an approach that emphasizes the industry develop cybersecurity standards just as we have done in the wire networks.stan but security is an essential component of where we go on networks and will have the ability to think about it first as a forethought rather than ant afterthought. .. as aforethought rather than an afterthought. so in conclusion in the spirit of the election season i thought i would close with these remarks. by referencing a campaign speech from the 60s, now a lot of my friends here think i'm going to be talking about the 1860s, but actually i'm talking about the 1960s because on july 15, 1960, john f. kennedy went to
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this podium at the los angeles coliseum to accept the democratic nomination for president. he's famously challenge the american people to be pioneers of a new frontier. you spoke of harnessing the power of technologicalower revolution and exploring uncharted areas of science and base. jfk's vision charted a pass to the moon and laid out the foundation of the internet. this july for team, 56 years last one day from when jfk talked about the new frontier we will have the opportunity to take an historic step to open up yet another friend tear thatpe promises to propel our nation and the world forward. once again, looking to the sky
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to unlock new discoveries and unleash american ingenuity. we are the pioneers of a new spectrum frontier. working together, we can write this next chapter in the mobile revolution. the revolution that's already transformed our lives society, working together to unleash new waves of innovation and discovery we have yet to imagine. thank you very much. [applause] thank you, mr. chairman. i will note that all use the wireless microphone. you can have the hard wire. >> it's not fast enough on the other side of the room.
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>> for the american consumer and not in this room right now, it may seem for gee, we just saw television ads in the last year. so why is 5g so urgently important? >> great question, tommy. one line that really deserves further explanation. all of the things that powerful computing makes possible can'tas be done on the chip to enhance it. they have to be moved to centralize place we have nowowab come to call the cloud so that the work gets done up there in the cloud and it is connected to the less powerful computing power in our hands that are inside center pill bottles are automatic watering systems. that connection is what 5g is a
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all about. it has to be fast. it has to be latency or you hasi to be secure. if we can't go that high speed between that power and its use, then we will not be able to bring that power into our hands in both places. >> at least to the next question which we talked about the cloud quite a bit here. how concerned about you about cyberterrorism and are you doing enough as it move forward? >> so, i think we have to recognize that networks have always been a pathway for attack. i don't care whether they weree rows or waterways. so the current networks are no different, which places on those who build and operate the networks and those who oversee that dignity a special and tho responsibility.
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under the leadership of admiralm simpson, with move forward forward aggressively with the program that works with those who are running networks to meet agreed to performance standards a few well asked you how you secure those networks and then to have the ability to check that is happening in the ability fanatics. to be able to share with everybody else. we have been playing catch-up. look at this.e is, lo my phone is ringing. this is the power of the connected network comedy ever connected network. the issue is that we now with five g note the thread and have an opportunity to address it
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from the get-go. >> we talked about how the united states is leading when it comes to five g. but are there companies doing and how we maintain that w compared to europe or somewherel else? >> so, the european union, china, japan and south korea have all signed a memorandum of understanding that they would all work together to develop 5g. the european union has put up several hundred million euros to do 5g research. as i reference in my remarks, we think that is the wrong way to go. we think making the spectrum available in getting out of the way of technology development is far better than let's sit around and wait until we decide what we're going to do and then make
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spectrum available anddecide w micromanage the technologytechno process. that is not the way we are going to be approaching. >> are there lessons to be learned from the rollout of 4g technology in the u.s. and elsewhere that will apply to the start of five g? >> sure, lots of them. not the least of which is the wireless network relies on base stations. they will have more base stations than ever before. the wireless network relies on wireless connections which is by on business data services proceeding to make sure those connections are charged fairly and are competitive. a you know, the interesting thing about moving from three g to 4g because it was kind of like throwing a switch. okay, we are moving over here to
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new spectrum. there is a whole new set of expectations. i think 5g is not a doll. it is multiple technologies and they will constantly be evolving. we can follow the playbook in terms of how we get national leadership. and that's why it is a national priority. the execution on the playbook becomes one of constant innovation and constant improvement that american technology can lead away. >> we talked about kind of scene what they can offer. it seems like a lot talk about what five g -- 5g is. do you think appealed to identify what it is to
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consumers? >> i was asked that question an international conference in barcelona. barcelona is the home of the picasso museum. i had just been there. i said 5g is kind of like a picasso. different people look at it and see different things. the fact of the matter is 5g it is the low latency to whether or not we will be able to exploit the increased processing power offered by the cloud. >> you're taking exception. but when will it actually be in a numerous devices?g when will consumers notice to knowledge it? >> we will see some trials in 2017 and rollout in 2020, which again will put us ahead of the world. wheeler you just reference what
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it's most excites you. what he think is the most exciting thing about the opportunity under the 5g network? >> is my friend ron knows, i am a huge history buff. i actually have looked at the history of networks. one truth that comes out of the history of networks and that is never the principal, technological change that is transformational. but it is a secondary effect of that peer what i was trying to say is we don't know what the secondary effects will be. we've got some ideas, but we don't know what they're going to be. do you take that incredible process, pointing to the cloud appear, the incredible processing power in the cloudhe and make it available on a mobile distributed race is down to the ultimate user, the
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ultimate you. i didn't envision uber. i know there are things we can't envision now. let me give you one example. i was in silicon valley last week. here is the statistic i learned. we hear an awful lot about thenl connected car. all the activity for the connected car is going to happen up here in the cloud because my car is going to have to know where your car in john's car and the schoolbus moving through and all of this is going to be processed with serious processing capability because you can't do it down here must you want to put a huge computer in the trunk. the average household today uses
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about the uk's. i was told that a connect your car -- i was told that a connected car uses 50 gig a day. we need the throughput to be ill to handle that kind. >> i'm from a very small town originally in utah, rural area. how does that translate to beyond urban areas that may not have 4g yet? >> problem with our current distribution is that its expense live to run the cable out to remote areas. we in the subsidy program that helps carriers get over that, there's still a significant and am still significant areas thatt are covered. wireless is helpful in getting
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the air, in getting there. but at slower speeds and can be more costly. but as i said, verizon is talking quite seriously about using these focused high speedlk broad dad shot into rural areas to be able to deliver fiber of home to the price that is far more competitive than real >> people who don't cover technology are wondering this exact question. how are you able to create new rules for a technology that does not yet exist? >> that is the $64 question and what is at the heart of what we are trying to do. we are not going to create rules for thought technology. we are going to open up the spectrum. we are going to make sure that
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the innovation driven by competition is protected and promoted and say we are not in the technology roles decisions have added. >> one last question and a few other subjects. they went from being a specialized service are ubiquitous. how does the evolution and are we on the brink of something entirely new and different. you ain't seen nothing yet. i think it's a gas. -- i think it is a guess. you transform the nature of connectivity to mobile high-speed comic dignity. innovation is always about
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unanticipated applications and i think we are going to see them. that's a technical term, boatload. >> the d.c. circuit court last week -- the d.c. circuit court held that vitality with a the win for the commission. with the success, please not success, but he now publicly committed to stepping as fcc chairman next year to pave the way for your college chapels roza morsels -- >> to reality is that mr. mr. rosenworcel ought to be confirmed standing on her own. then i understand that it is
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tradition for fcc chairman -- for the incoming president to have an opportunity to name the new fcc chairman.n. i have told the senate when i was asked this question in a hearing and i understand the precedent and i respect thesidet president. is it saying that will happen in the summer. >> we look at two n-november and a second. you think you will revisit the net utility decisions in the d.c. circuit. >> we are very clear in saying we are forbearing for the regulation and the need to file tariffs and all that sort of stuff in that changing. >> presidential candidate donald trump has said he will reverse
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regulatioregulatio n if he went than limit the authority. what impact will that have on consumers? >> we have just been talking about the spectrum feature, the conductivity future in how this country maintains national leadership. there are three components. the spectrum must be fast. we were talking about increasede speed. access must be fair. we need to make sure that ino sr rural utah people are connected so they can enjoy the method. the spectrum has to be openings because access to networks has to be a good.
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because we can't stand in a position where there are gatekeepers who are deciding what will or will not be offered to kids rumors. we are leading and will continue to lead the world because our networks are open and will remain open for innovators to use without permission, for consumers to be able to access anybody they want, any placeut they want to go on the web without permission, without throttling, without pay prioritization and with full transparency is about the consumer and the provider know just what they're doing. >> you didn't have the words donald trump at all an answer and not. last week a coalition of tv
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providers presented to commission an alternative set top box proposal to allow consumers to ditch cable boxesrr altogether while addressing significant cadre concerns the content communities raised about the proposed approach. are you open to compromise in the closer collaboration moving forward with these companies? >> i think it's absolutely terrific that the cable industry came forward with this proposal. i have been asking them to do this and i think that by coming this forward, they indicated that a lot of the argument that had been put up against our set-top box proposal really felt that the wayside. the copyright can be protected to consumer privacy can be it.
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the small networks can continue to thrive in that you don't hav to rebuild the network in order to do this. i think that what they had done is say yes, that the approach that the fcc said chested is an approach that can be taken. what i'm interested in now is engage in constructive dialogue with bad on the specifics of just how do you write the dialo regulations to achieve that? there have multiple times in the past been situations where the industry has said they would do similar kinds of things and it never came to pass. let's make it come to pass now. 99% of american numerous have no choice but to pay the monthly set-top box feed. you rent an average of 230 bucks per household, per year.
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the congress had there needs to be choice. section 629 of the communications act says the fcc shall. not many, or should think about. the fcc shall provide that there are competitive navigation devices work as numerous and we're going to follow through on that -- and. >> you're rather big priority of the commission has had businesss data services. what are the problems of services and what are you going to do? >> so it's a really arcane area that we actually try to change the name. it used to be called special access because there was a way in which a carrier sells to another party, usually another carrier. a specific quality guaranteed
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delivery of service. and the competition in that. we followed the rule competition, competition, competition. as competition increases, regulation decreases. we are trying to look at the bds marketing say how do we apply the same kind of caught that because this is a market that hasn't been revisited by the commission in years. the things have changed in technology and so we are going to revisit this. as i sat in my remarks, it is absolutely essential that we do this because this is going to be the five g wireless feature is going to move on wired networks. those wired networks is not competitive need to at least be fairly priced. >> pay-tv providers are famouspe for their poor customer service. they investigated is there
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anything congress can do to force companies like comcast to respond to company complaints faster. the senate will have a hearing on this. the complaints we hear from consumers on this topic are legion. as a look at the scope of authority that congress has given a, however it is rather limited. >> else which he spots for a second. before a movie to the final question comic quick reminder of the national press club we fight for a free press worldwide. more information about the club, please visit i would like you about some upcoming programs. the university system will speak
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here. tom perez will join us. national transportation will address the club and july 14th , admiral mike rogers, he will speak at the press club luncheon. i'd like to present our guests with the traditional nationaly press club mug. [applause] >> it's not wireless. i'm sorry. one last question and i will make it a tough one actually. public officials are supposed to feel the public spain. that being the case, can youou tell us any personal stories of any nightmare verizon, comcast or other telecommunications sere
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firm. >> is there something a little stiffer i could put in? >> so, like i said, we hear from consumers all the time about this. and yes, public officials are real people who have real ongoing experiences, too. my most recent experience was that the customer service rep and more with my wife calling me insane the irs is after because there had been a spoofing incident of what's been happening increasingly is thatie fraudsters coincidently from
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abroad are using the internet to connect over here and call random numbers and announced to the bare the irs and i need to be paid in here is where you send a check in all of this courtesy. so that happened to us. b., last week we started getting threatening phone calls from an individual who had been himself on the receiving end. but the phone number was my phone number. this is something that is a legitimate concern. this is something that they are individuals that can be held responsible for this and one of
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the things we are actively delivering is trying to figure out exactly what the right wayhi to go here this is. but we are not going to sit around and eggs while this goes on. [applause] >> thanks for your nonprofit -- [inaudible] we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel in. more were expected on the congress spending bill with arizona republican senator john
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mccain at seven -- 10:30 this morning. certain electronic medications records for investigations regarding terrorism. now come alive to the senate floor here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. we lift our hearts toward your throne, o god, and bless your holy name. you are great and worthy of our
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praise and thanksgiving. you have given us this great nation as a heritage and we are depending on your providence to sustain us. prosper the labors of our lawmakers, as they put their trust in you. in your loving kindness, bring them a productive harvest from the seeds they have planted and watered on good soil. keep them from accepting the belief that it is not possible to get things done as you remind them that all things are possible to those who believe. though they walk in the midst of
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trouble, revive and refresh them. we pray in your great name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the president pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, we learned yesterday that our allies in jordan were victims of a terrorist attack. the vehicle-borne i.e.d. killed jordanian soldiers and police officers, and although isil is not taking credit for the attacks, the tactics were certainly similar to those frequently employed by isil. last week the terrorists that isil called a soldier of the caliphate took 49 lives as he proudly proclaimed his allegiance to that group. days later the c.i.a. director delivered a sobering analysis of isil's strength and capabilities. our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach, he said. as we have seen in orlando, san bernardino, and elsewhere, isil
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is attempted to inspire attacks by sympathizers and is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks. these are the facts, facts that the director of central intelligence did not deliver lightly. they're certainly worrying. they remind us this vile, hate-filled terrorist group is going to keep bringing tragedies to our doorstep until it is defeated where it trains, operates and prepares places like iraq and syria. so we have a choice. we can focus on defeating isil or we can focus on partisan politics. some of our colleagues may think this is all some game. we've seen the ridiculous tweets and the bizarre one-liners about guns and terrorists. i believe this is a serious moment that calls for serious solutions. so i would ask every senator to consider this statement from one
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of our democratic colleagues just last week. why have this job, one of the most powerful jobs in the world, he asked, if we're not going to exercise it to try to protect americans from harm? this is the point i'm making. he may have meant these words that different context, but the reality is this: we all know that the principal way to prevent more isil expired heartbreak is to defeat isil. this is not an easy task. it doesn't always make for snappy one liners and not only is it going to take time, it is going to take all of our efforts. but that's why our constituents sent us here. here's what we need from president obama: lead a serious campaign to defeat isil. here's what we need from each other: work toward serious solutions to fight terror beyond our borders and serious counter
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terror tools to prevent attacks within our borders. we'll have opportunities to take positive steps forward as we resume consideration of the legislation before us. this bill will give the f.b.i. and law enforcement more resources to track down and defuse terrorist threats. funding is only one piece of the larger puzzle, however. the f.b.i. and law enforcement also need smart targeted tools to help stop terrorist attacks before they happen in the first place. we'll have the opportunity to consider more good ideas this morning as part of the mccain amendment. one of the these good ideas, ecta reform will allow law enforcement to connect the dots of terrorist communications in order to disrupt their plans. the inability to connect the dots has been one of the problems the f.b.i. has had in identifying homegrown terrorists like the one in orlando. the f.b.i. director calls this smart targeted reform enormously
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helpful and recently identified it as the top legislative priority. it will not allow for the collection of any content nor will it infringe on civil liberties or civil rights. what it will do is give law enforcement a critical helping hand in the midst of isil's sophisticated internet campaign to direct and inspire attacks right here in our communities. given all we know about isil and its ability to radicalize people on the internet, doesn't that just make good sense. here's another idea that makes sense: the mccain amendment's lone wolf provision. isil's spokesman recently issued a call for lone wolf attacks against the west during ramadan. its followers heard the call last sunday in orlando, last monday in france, days later in belgium, a near miss in what appears to be an isil-directed attack planning. we need to better address the threat of lone wolf terrorists.
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that means providing law enforcement with the tools and the certainty necessary to do so. that's what the lone wolf provision will provide. it's an idea that passed congress before. now we can enact it into law on an enduring basis as a part of the mccain amendment. unfortunately, threats from lone wolf attacks are not going away. the legal authority to help prevent them should not go away either. smart targeted counterterrorism ideas like these were republican priorities well before the terrorist attack in orlando. they continue to be at the forefront of our efforts now. we also remain focused on doing what we can to help this president and the next one take down isil. these kinds of ideas should all be priorities moving forward. but republicans, the democrats, for the president of the united states. we can spend our time redacting and reacting or we can acknowledge the threat before us
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and work to prevent more isil-fueled atrocities. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i would ask unanimous consent that i be allowed at a subsequent time today to place in the record a one-page document prepared by our ranking member on the homeland security committee, and i would like it to appear at or near the statement i'm going to give now. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, my friend, the republican leader, talks about president obama not doing enough for isil, to attack them. i'm sorry. you will see in the record as soon as i walk to my office and get the document prepared by
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senator carper is a document that outlines the progress that's been made. is it enough? of course not, but it's pretty significant in the fight against isis, isil, whatever we want to call them. i don't know what the republican leader wants. does he want another invasion of iraq? ground troops? does he want us to invade syria? those are two countries he named. our last invasion of iraq didn't work out too well. we had -- we've had about 500,000 iraqis killed. they're dead now as a result of that invasion. the number in syria is reaching about 300,000. millions have been displaced because of that last invasion of iraq. the whole middle east is destabilized. is that what the republican leader wants? does he want another invasion? which country? both of them? how many troops? 100,000? 150,000?
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what does he want? be more specific. what does he want done that isn't being done? mr. president, i'm encouraged by the dialogue on gun safety that's taking place in the senate now. democrats and republicans are working together to find solutions and protect americans from gun violence. the obvious first step is to keep guns and explosives out of the hands of suspected terrorists and criminals. that's why it's imperative that senator collins legislation get a vote. the amendment from the senior senator from maine is bipartisan support. at the very at least, it's a step in the right direction. the state of maine has a reputation for bipartisanship. i can remember when obama was first elected, we did the american recovery act, the stimulus. we had 57 or 58 senators, democratic senators. i needed help in order to get
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that passed. where did i look first? the state of maine. collins and snowe, they always came through. the reason we were able to pass the recovery act is because of the state of maine's senatorial representation. so it should be no surprise to anyone that the senior senator from maine is working on a bipartisan basis. and while her legislation at this stage, in my mind, is not perfect, it's a step in the right direction. i'm concerned with the collins amendment for a number of reasons, and the justice department also has concern. they're worried about provisions dealing with the legislation. but as we speak bipartisan discussions continue to resolve these matters. but there's no question that the senate should vote on legislation that keeps guns away from suspected terrorists. so i appreciate the good work of senator collins. of course it wouldn't be fair to
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talk about the state of maine without talking about angus king. what a terrific senator. the state of maine should be so proud of this guy, as i know they are based on his record as being elected governor and other things in the state of maine. i know that the national rifle association is whipping its followers into a frenzy about this legislation, that collins bipartisan legislation, they're going crazy. and that's disappointing but not surprising. almost every american agrees the suspected terrorists should not be able to purchase firearms and explosives. the republican leader should ignore the pleas, the desperate pleas from the n.r.a. and bring senator collins' amendment to the floor for a vote. mr. president, on another subject, when we have voted on the collins amendment, we must turn our attention to another
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critically important matter, addressing the zika public health crisis. the american people have been waiting since february for republicans to respond in regard to this serious, serious threat from zika. caused by mosquito bites. now, mr. president, for centuries mosquitoes have been wreaking havoc on people, but never ever in the past has there been any reports of, that mosquitoes are carrying with them a virus or anything else that causes birth defects. the american people have been waiting since february for republicans to respond to the threat from zika. it's been four months to the day since president obama sent an emergency appropriation request to congress for $1.9 billion to fight zika. $1.9 billion was the specific figure requested by researchers, public health experts and doctors.
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there is even more now needed since 120 days have exposed even more dangers from zika. while the republican congress has done nothing to provide funding the threat from zika continues to grow every day. according to the latest statistics from the centers for disease control and prevention on how zika is affecting the united states, listen to these numbers. stunning. in a few days they will be changed even more. 2,200 americans have been infected with zika. the zika virus. 423 pregnant women have tested positive for the virus. and tragically, six pregnancies already resulted in severe birth defects. now, these 423 pregnant women, how many more of these women are going to have babies born with these supreme challenges?
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it's awful what this virus does to a lot of babies. in the past, we have responded to public health emergencies with the urgency they deserve. when the nation faced the ebola crisis, we responded. when the avian flu crisis hit, we responded. we acted quickly and provided necessary emergency funding. we have done the same with tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and earthquakes and fires, but republicans aren't doing that. i don't know. i don't understand this. it's an emergency, zika is an emergency. it's devastating. republicans treat it as such and work with democrats to fully respond with a response. they should do it now. they should have done it months ago. so, mr. president, it is stunning and sad that instead of responding responsibly funding our nation's -- this emergency
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in a bipartisan way, republicans have retreated behind closed doors and negotiate zika funding among themselves. there is a conference going on but nothing's happening. the republicans in the house are playing around with something they're going to send to us. and we know, we have been there. it's going to come here, republicans in the house have decided to go home, democrats have to go with them, and they will be gone, and so we'll get jammed sometime next week, and the republican leader will say listen, we have got to do this. the house is gone. we capital change anything. well, mr. president, that's wrong. they should turn this genuine health emergency not into a partisan game by siphoning money from continuing ebola or cutting the affordable care act that we have heard they're doing in the house. that is a dangerous break from our commitment to addressing emergencies that require funding. we should respond to this
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crisis, respond now. we know what we need to send the president, at least $1.9 billion. and it's an emergency. no different than, as i said, a flood or a fire or those other emergencies that we have. every moment republicans delay in responding to the zika virus endangers more americans. mr. president, here are the documents that i want placed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, there are a number of people on the floor. i would ask the chair to announce what we're doing today. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 2578, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 120, h.r. 2578, an act making appropriations for the departments of commerce and justice, science and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2016, and for other purposes.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until the cloture vote will be equally divided between the managers or their designees. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i rise to speak in morning business. mr. president, the statement just made by the democratic senate leader on the zika challenge to the united states is well documented. what is well documented is the president of the united states came to congress four months ago and said we are facing a public health threat. do something. and for four months, the republican-led congress has done nothing, nothing. meanwhile, mosquitoes carrying this deadly virus are on the march. this is a report from the "new york times" from last week which i ask unanimous consent be placed in the record in its entirety. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, this report says u.s. officials are surprised by the zika rate in puerto rico.
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and it goes on, roughly 1% of recent blood donors in puerto rico showed signs of active infection with the zika virus, suggesting a substantial portion of the island's population will become infected. federal health officials reported on friday. they will go on to cite the statistics here that have been analyzed by the centers for disease control and prevention. and here's what they concluded. based on prior experience, dr. williamson of c.d.c. said he would not have expected so many zika-infected donors until late june or early july. the c.d.c. has estimated that as many as a quarter, a quarter of the island's 3.5 million people may become infected with zika virus this year. it's possible that thousands of pregnant women in puerto rico could be infected, dr. friedan, c.d.c.'s director told reuters, leading to -- quote -- dozens or hundreds of infants being born
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with microcephaly in the coming year -- end quote. mr. president, what is the republican majority waiting for in the united states senate? what is the republican majority waiting for in the united states house of representatives? don't they believe this is a serious public health threat? and if they don't, they are ignoring the obvious. evidence given to us by the leading public health defense agency in the united states of america if not the world. over and over again, they tell us this is a deadly threat. and while the infection rates increase and the infections among pregnant women increase and the number of these elephants who are afflicted by serious birth defects increase, the republicans in the house and senate are too busy focusing on donald trump to pay attention to this public health crisis. it's about time they accepted the reality, and the reality is they were elected to lead. they were elected to protect. they were elected to serve.
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and when it comes to the zika virus, they are doing none of these. they are standing back, twisted in knots, trying to figure out how to take money away from other public health challenges to deal with this and four months have passed. these mosquitoes are spreading this infection across puerto rico, and soon we will know more in the united states. senator reid suggested 2,000 americans with the zika virus infection. 400, if i recall his numbers correctly, pregnant women, and already evidence of babies being born afflicted because of this infection. what is the republican majority waiting for? the senate republican leader came to the floor earlier this morning to speak to us about isil and terrorism. i hope that he understands there is a political consensus on the following statement. we should do everything in our power to prevent any terrorist attack in the united states and everything in our power to stop
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the spread of terrorism overseas, including and especially when it comes to isis. senator reid asked of mr. mcconnell the right question. you come in criticism of our current policy, but you offer nothing. there is no suggestion by the senate republican leader that we should be sending invading armies again. we did try that in iraq. and the consequences are well known. we lost 4,844 american lives, american soldiers who gave their lives in iraq. over half a million returned with injuries, some of them injuries that will be with them for a lifetime. the cost to the united states in terms of death, injury and the problems that these veterans face will go on for generations. is the senator from kentucky suggesting we should do that again? i hope not. what we are doing is joining up with iraqi forces to defeat
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isis. we are using the best of american intelligence and guidance to make sure they are effective and there is evidence of success. the statement put in the record from senator carper goes into detail. senator reid alludeed to it in his speech. it talks about the things that we have done and the success that we've had, the notion that we can do this overnight if we just invade with a large u.s. army. if that's what senator mcconnell is suggesting, i would suggest to go back in history and reflect on his own vote for the invasion of iraq, one which i disagreed with at the time and still believe was a mistake for us to invade. and then there is the question about the gun issue, particularly when it comes to assault weapons. do you know what the terrorists have told us? they basically said to us go ahead and fight the last war. focus on what happened on 9/11. put all your resources at airports. be ready to stop anyone who wants to take over an airplane. it's a worthy goal, but while you are diverted with that goal,
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fighting the last terrorist war, we are opening up new fronts, and one of those fronts very specifically was when the terrorists warned us that we know where to buy automatic assault weapons in the united states. we know about your gun shows. we know about your internet sales. and that's where we're going to turn. they're calling on their aspiring terrorists around the world to fight access to assault weapons and turn them on innocent americans. the devastating impact of that we saw in orlando two weeks ago. and so because of a filibuster last week that was initiated by senator murphy of connecticut and sustained by senator booker of new jersey and senator blumenthal of connecticut and 47 others who came -- i should say 37 others who came to the floor to support them, we forced a vote on monday night on four gun safety issues. none of them passed. it was established that they needed an extraordinary majority. that was the decision made by
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the republican leadership and where we came close to a majority on many of these votes, we didn't have the 60 votes necessary to make them the law. luckily, we have one senator on the republican side who is showing extraordinary courage. senator collins of maine has stepped up to try to craft a measure to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of terrorists in the united states. do the american people agree with senator collins? only by a margin of 90%. they believe she is right. they believe we're right, that we should do something to defy the national rifle association and make it more difficult for those who are suspected terrorists buying firearms, especially assault weapons. well, she's working on it and i'm working with her. many of us are supporting her effort, a bipartisan effort and one that's long overdue. so when the senator who is the republican majority leader comes to the floor and says we need to do more to fight terrorism, what is he doing to fight terrorism?
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when it comes to assault weapons and those who are purchasing them in the united states like that deadly killer in orlando. he could help us. the kentucky senator who is the republican leader can help us by making america safer and keeping automatic weapons out of the hands, assault weapons and semiautomatic weapons out of the hands of would-be terrorists. that would mean defying the national rifle association and many on the republican side are scared to death of them, just scared to death of what that organization might do to them if they join senator collins, if they join senator feinstein in trying to stem the rise of terrorism from these assault weapons in the united states. i have said it before and i will say it again, there is no self-respecting hunter, sportsman or even a person looking for self-defense who can defend these weapons that are being sold in the united states. there was a video snapchat of one of the victims in orlando, the last nine seconds of her
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life before she was killed, she turned on her cell phone, and in nine seconds, 17 rounds were fired by this aspiring isis terrorist who had access to an assault weapon. assault weapons belong in the hands of law enforcement and the military. they shouldn't be so easily accessible by those who would turn them on innocent americans, whether it's in a classroom in newtown, connecticut, or in a nightclub in orlando. so i would say to the senator from kentucky, do you want to stop terrorism? start at home here. start at home by preventing terrorists' access to these deadly weapons that have no effective use when it comes to sport and hunting that are just being purchased sadly for either collection reasons or for those who want to misuse the weapons to kill innocent people. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. i suggest the absence of a
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quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. durbin: i ask the quorum call be suspended. i ask unanimous consent the time be equally divided between the democrats and republicans during the quorum call. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. durbin: and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, what is the parliamentary situation? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. leahy: i ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'm concerned as a member of the


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